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Crystal Symphony Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
322 Reviews

Wonderful Musical Experience

Crystal Symphony Cruise Review by JC Norton

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2018
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah

This was our second cruise on Crystal, the first being a Lisbon to Lisbon adventure in the Azores, Canary Islands and Morocco in 2018. We chose it partly because of that experience, but also for the itinerary, hoping to hit the fall color along the Saint Laurence. We did. It was jaw dropping and absolutely at it's height. This also was a 'jazz days, cabaret nights,' cruise and the music was beyond good. It was over the top wonderful in every venue, all day and into the night. Musicians were all over the ship, approachable, friendly and happy to talk about their work. So much fun. On the cruise last year, one of the high points was the team we had in the main dining room and most of them were on the ship this time as well -- like seeing old friends. Crystal has changed from a fixed seating model to anytime dining, a mistake, in my opinion, but we were able to be with our awesome team anyway. The ship has been refitted in the public areas to good effect. It's beautiful everywhere, in spite of the fact that the frightening gold statues are still there. What were they thinking? Everything in such beautiful taste and then these two jarring monstrosities. Go figure.

Service on Crystal is perfect in every way -- attentive and engaging staff who seem happy to be where they are. Food is good to great in all venues and the variety in the main dining room is excellent. The included wines and spirits were fine with no need to upgrade. Cocktails are beautifully made and served.

The ports were enjoyable, mostly small cities full of friendly Canadians. We did not do excursions generally, preferring to explore on our own, which, in these places was easy to do.

At embarkation there was a bit of a snag as no one seemed to know what cabin we were in. It got sorted out, but seemed surprising on a luxury cruise line that people were having to make calls to figure out where to put these two passengers. Aside from that trivial matter, it was a great experience and we'll be back, particularly if this 'jazz days and cabaret nights' thing is an institution. Hope it is.

JC Norton's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah
Cabin B1 8134

I think I have the category right, but in any case, it was the last cabin aft on the port side. We liked the immediate access to the outdoor area at the back of the ship and this was basically a river cruise, so motion was not an issue. There is some awareness of the engines, but not bothersome on Deck 8. Might be an issue lower down. Crystal cabins are not large, but they're well laid out with plenty of storage and a two sink bath with modest sized tub/shower combination. Maintenance was excellent and our room stewardess a delight.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We spent a couple days in Montreal post cruise. It's an amazing city, rich in culture, architecture, history and great, great food.

Quebec City

Quebec City is wonderful. The weather was not great, but still fun walking around, bundled up.

Corner Brook

Beautiful place and the fall color was spectacular there.


Bad weather, tender port and not much to see, really.


Loved it. Beautiful church and stunning coast line.

Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

We stayed on the ship, but enjoyed the view of the fishing village and rock formations.

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JC Norton
5 Reviews Written
29 Helpful Votes
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